Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association v. Regan
(U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit, November 2, 2023) The Eight Circuit Court of Appeals found that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) exceeded its authority, acting arbitrarily and capriciously in completely eliminating the use of chlorpyrifos on food crops. For more than a decade, EPA had allowed the pesticide to be used in some measure on some crops, called tolerances. After losing a case challenging those tolerances, the EPA passed a regulation allowing no use of the product, even though the Agency had considered revoking most of the tolerances but allowing some high-benefit agricultural uses to continue. The Court disagreed with EPA that the Agency’s findings supported only a full ban, finding that the Agency lacked evidence to support the full ban and had less restrictive means available given the potential safe use of the pesticide on some crops. This case is consistent with a trend of courts disagreeing with administrative agency decisions and substituting the court’s judgment for that of the agency. Read the full Opinion here.